What is low tech?

Do you really know?

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What is low tech?

Do you really know?

What is low tech? Thanks for asking!

In the struggle against climate change, politicians are getting behind technological innovation. But some experts believe that, rather than high-tech, we should instead be banking on the simple, robust and reparable solutions offered by low tech. The all-powerful nature of high-tech has been called into question for decades, with regular controversies and debates on subjects like robots, satellites or artificial intelligence. As far back as the 1970s, author Ivan Illich published “Tools for Conviviality” about the proper use of technology, in which he argued that society should “give people tools that guarantee their right to work with independent efficiency”. In this day and age, tools are overwhelmingly controlled by specialists. For example, very few of us know how to build or repair a smartphone, car or washing machine. 

Isn’t the awesome thing about technology that it’s guaranteed to become more and more complex?

Well not everyone agrees with that. Experts have warned that renewable energies, nanotechnologies and biotechnologies all use up scarce resources, which are complex and difficult to recycle. The idea behind low tech is effectively to do more, better, with less. From a technical point of view, a low tech object should be durable, robust and reparable or recyclable. It should also consume little in the way of raw materials and energy. So designers are coming up with low-tech houses, cars, agriculture and even computers. But remember that renewable materials don’t last forever. It would be foolish to think we can maintain current production levels with different techniques. So before figuring out how to optimise production techniques, we need to accept that producing less is a necessity. 

OK so we’re talking about people who want us to go back to the stone age basically! In under 3 minutes, we answer your questions!

To listen the last episodes, you can click here:

What is The Cartel Project?

What is an mRNA vaccine?

What is Fast Fashion?

A podcast written and realised by Joseph Chance.

 

See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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What is low tech? Thanks for asking!

In the struggle against climate change, politicians are getting behind technological innovation. But some experts believe that, rather than high-tech, we should instead be banking on the simple, robust and reparable solutions offered by low tech. The all-powerful nature of high-tech has been called into question for decades, with regular controversies and debates on subjects like robots, satellites or artificial intelligence. As far back as the 1970s, author Ivan Illich published “Tools for Conviviality” about the proper use of technology, in which he argued that society should “give people tools that guarantee their right to work with independent efficiency”. In this day and age, tools are overwhelmingly controlled by specialists. For example, very few of us know how to build or repair a smartphone, car or washing machine. 

Isn’t the awesome thing about technology that it’s guaranteed to become more and more complex?

Well not everyone agrees with that. Experts have warned that renewable energies, nanotechnologies and biotechnologies all use up scarce resources, which are complex and difficult to recycle. The idea behind low tech is effectively to do more, better, with less. From a technical point of view, a low tech object should be durable, robust and reparable or recyclable. It should also consume little in the way of raw materials and energy. So designers are coming up with low-tech houses, cars, agriculture and even computers. But remember that renewable materials don’t last forever. It would be foolish to think we can maintain current production levels with different techniques. So before figuring out how to optimise production techniques, we need to accept that producing less is a necessity. 

OK so we’re talking about people who want us to go back to the stone age basically! In under 3 minutes, we answer your questions!

To listen the last episodes, you can click here:

What is The Cartel Project?

What is an mRNA vaccine?

What is Fast Fashion?

A podcast written and realised by Joseph Chance.

 

See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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